Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quote of the Day

Today's quote is actually a blog post from the inimitable Miss Snark:

"When to give up.

Never. Publication may be nice but it's not the only reward. The very act of writing is its own reward. It teaches you (if you pay attention) how to see the world through different eyes; how to wield language skilfully; how to organize a persuasive presentation. You recognize that writing is a creative art and brings you joy. You recognize that doing something difficult over and over again, and trying your utmost to improve is a worthy endeavor even if you fall short of your goal. You recognize that these moments of despair or frustration or fear are part of the process, and will make the achievement of your goal just that much sweeter."

If you haven't read the Miss Snark archives, they are highly recommended--there's a lot of good info in between the sarcasm.  You can check out the archives here:

I love this post from her.  Yes, getting published is terrific, and I suppose we'd all like to give Nora Roberts a run for her money on the New York Times list, but it's too easy to lose sight of the writing itself in all this goal setting.  

This post is a reminder to enjoy the writing itself, both for the work you produce and for the lessons you learn by writing.  You are a better person for learning to tell your stories, and others are better for having a chance to read them.

I like to pull this quote out when I get too caught up in the business side of writing.  It reminds me where my desire to write came from in the first place.

Do you agree with Miss Snark's assessment?  Would you write without outside rewards (or the potential for them)?  If you never were published, would you still feel the writing was worth doing, or would you give it up and learn to play canasta instead? 


Genene Valleau said...

Well, maybe not learn to play canasta. LOL! Interesting question, Barb.

I agree with parts of Ms. Snark's quote. Writing has definitely taught me to "see the world through different eyes" and I have learned a number of skills that have been helpful in my non-writing worlds. I also try to figure out what motivates people to do things (in "real" life) that seem to be counter-productive or just plain strange--many of which would be considered "not believable" in fiction. :)

Would I continue to write if there was no hope of being published and making gazillions of dollars? I'd like to think so, even if the time I spent writing was negligible. However, having a signed contract and deadlines definitely pushes writing higher on my list of priorities.

However, as you mentioned, I hope to always enjoy the creative process of writing!

Paty Jager said...

Great post, Barb!

Up until I joined RWA I had been writing mainly for me and the few friends who were willing to read my writing.

No, I can't say that either. I still write for me. I mean I have to since I seem to always write stories that aren't what NY is looking for. I can't seem to fit a mold that they want for a story.

But I can entertain the few who do pick up my books and as long as I entertain the ones who do read my work. I'm happy. My husband would be happier if it paid a few bills instead of just my writing bills, but that day will come. And then I'll probably wish I as back enjoying myself.

Sarah Raplee said...

What a wonderful quotem Barb! I know I'd write no matter what, because I enjoy it so much. I suspect I'd stick to shorter venues than novel-writing, though! LOL